Prof Robin Le Poidevin

Prof Robin Le Poidevin

Professor of Metaphysics

+44 (0)113 343 3267

Summary: Philosophy of Space and Time; Metaphysics; Epistemology; Philosophy of Religion.

Robin joined the Department in 1989, after a year as Gifford Research Fellow at St Andrews and postgraduate work at Cambridge.

From 1998 to 2001 he was Head of Department, and in 2000 was appointed to a personal chair in Metaphysics. He is a member of the Centre for Metaphysics and Mind and is on the board of the Analysis Trust, the Editor of Religious Studies, and Past President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion.

In 2007 he gave the Stanton Lectures in the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Cambridge.

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Religion: metaphysics of Christian doctrine, non-realist approaches to religion, agnosticism, projectivism
  • Metaphysics: time, space, causality, identity
  • Epistemology: perception, memory, perspectival representations
  • Aesthetics: theories of fiction, depiction in art, photography and film

Selected Publications

  • The Images of Time: An Essay on Temporal Representation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • 'Identity and the Composite Christ: an Incarnational dilemma', Religious Studies Vol. 45, 2009, pp. 167-86
  • 'Time without Change (in Three Steps)', American Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 47, 2010, pp. 171-80
  • 'The Temporal Prison', Analysis Vol. 71, 2011, pp. 456-65


2010, Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 134pp

2007, The Images of Time: An Essay on Temporal Representation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 193pp

2003, Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003 (translations: German 2004; Chinese 2006; Romanian 2007; Korean 2010), 275pp

1996, Arguing for Atheism: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, London: Routledge, (Turkish translation, 2000), 159pp

1991, Change, Cause and Contradiction: a Defence of the Tenseless Theory of Time, London: Macmillan, 160pp

Edited Volumes

2009, The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics, London: Routledge (co-edited with Peter Simons, Andrew McGonigal and Ross P. Cameron), 609pp

2008, Being: Developments in Contemporary Metaphysics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 212pp

1998, Questions of Time and Tense, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 293pp

1993, The Philosophy of Time, Oxford: Oxford University Press (co-edited with Murray MacBeath), 230pp

Parts of books

2012, 'The Necessity of God and the Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking', in Yujin Nagasawa (ed), Scientific Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming)

2011a, 'The Incarnation: divine embodiment and the divided mind', in Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Philosophy of Religion, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 269-85

2011b, 'Multiple Incarnations and Distributed Persons', in Anna Marmodoro and Jonathan Hill (eds.), The Metaphysics of the Incarnation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 228-41

2009a, 'General Introduction: What is metaphysics?', and 'Introduction to Part III: The study of nature', in Routledge Companion to Metaphysics, London: Routledge, pp. xviii-xxii and 415-19

2009b, 'Existence', in John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 81-94

2008, 'The Impossibility of God?', in Paul Copan and Chad Meister (eds.) Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 188-201

2007a, 'Action at a Distance', in Antony O'Hear (ed.) Philosophy of Science, Royal Institute of Philosophy London Lecture Series, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 21-36

2007b, 'The Beginning of Time', In Thomas Müller (ed.) Philosophie der Zeit: Neue analytische Ansätze, Frankfurt: Klosterman, pp. 115-38

2006, 'Memory and the A-Series', in Friedrich Stadler and Michael Stöltzner (eds.) Time and History: Proceedings of the 28th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, pp. 31-42

2003, 'Why Tenses Need Real Times', in Aleksandar Jokić and Quentin Smith (eds.), Time, Tense and Reference, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 305-24

2002, 'Zeno's Arrow and the Significance of the Present', in Craig Callender (ed.), Time, Reality and Experience, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 57-72

2001, 'Is Precedence a Secondary Quality?', and 'Reply to Smith and Tooley', in L. Nathan Oaklander (ed.), The Importance of Time, Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 249-61, and pp.285-91

2000, 'Space and the Chiral Molecule', in Nalini Bhushan and Stuart Rosenfeld (eds.), Of Minds and Molecules: New Philosophical Perspectives on Chemistry, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 129-42

1998, 'Introduction', and 'The Past, Present and Future of the Debate About Tense', in Robin Le Poidevin Questions of Time and Tense, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 1-11 and 13-42

1993, 'Introduction' (with Murray MacBeath), and 'Postscript to "Relationism and Temporal Topology"', in Robin Le Poidevin and Murray MacBeath (eds.), The Philosophy of Time, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-20 and 162-7

Journal Articles

2011a, 'The Temporal Prison', Analysis Vol. 71, pp. 456-65

2011b, 'Euthyphro and the Goodness of God Incarnate', Ratio Vol. 24, pp. 206-221

2010, 'Time without Change (in Three Steps)', American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 47, pp. 171-80

2009a, 'Incarnation: metaphysical issues', Philosophy Compass , Vol. 4, pp. 703-14

2009b, 'Identity and the Composite Christ: an Incarnational dilemma', Religious Studies, Vol. 45, pp. 167-86

2009c, 'Divine Person or Personal Ground of Being? Making philosophical sense of a theological distinction', Theology, Vol. CXII, pp. 92-7

2006, 'Truth-Makers and Geometrical Inference: Reply to Gibb', Philosophical Papers, Vol. 35, pp. 185-91

2005a, 'The Cheshire Cat Problem and Other Spatial Obstacles to Backwards Time Travel', The Monist, Vol. 88, pp. 336-52

2005b, 'Missing Elements and Missing Premises: A combinatorial argument for the ontological reduction of chemistry', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 56, pp. 117-34

2004a, 'A Puzzle Concerning Time Perception', Synthese, Vol. 142, pp. 109-42

2004b, 'Space, Supervenience and Substantivalism', Analysis, Vol. 64, pp. 191-8

2003, 'Theistic Discourse and Fictional Truth', Revue Internationale de Philosophie Vol. 57, pp. 271-84

2001, 'Fate, Fiction and the Future', Philosophical Papers, Vol. 30, pp. 69-92

2000, 'Continuants and Continuity', The Monist, Vol. 83, pp. 381-98

1999a, 'Can Beliefs Be Caused By Their Truth-Makers?', Analysis, Vol. 59, 1999, pp. 148-56

1999b, 'Egocentric and Objective Time', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol. 99, pp. 19-36

1997, 'Time and the Static Image', Philosophy, Vol. 72, pp. 175-88

1996, 'Time, Tense and Topology', Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 46., 1996, pp. 467-81

1995a, 'Internal and External Questions About God', Religious Studies, Vol. 31, 1995, pp. 485-500

1995b, 'Worlds within Worlds? The paradoxes of embedded fiction', British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 35, pp. 227-38

1994, 'The Chemistry of Space', Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 72, pp. 77-88

1993, 'Lowe on McTaggart', Mind, Vol. 102, 1993, pp. 163-70

1992, 'On the Acausality of Time, Space and Space-time', Analysis, Vol. 52, pp. 146-54

1991a, 'Fables and Models II: Abstraction and Explanation in Physics', Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 65, pp. 69-82

1991b, 'Creation in a Closed Universe, or Have physicists disproved the existence of God?', Religious Studies, Vol. 27, pp. 39-48

1990, 'Relationism and Temporal Topology: Physics or Metaphysics?', Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 40, 1990, pp. 419-32

1988a, 'The Principle of Reciprocity and a Proof of the Non-Simultaneity of Cause and Effect', Ratio, Vol. 1, pp. 52-62

1988b, 'Time and Truth in Fiction', British Journal of Aesthetics, Vo. 28, pp. 248-58

1987, 'Time, Change and the "Indexical Fallacy"', Mind, Vol. 96, 1987, pp. 534-8 (with D.H. Mellor)

Encyclopaedia articles

2006, 'Space and Time', in Anthony Grayling, Andrew Pyle and Naomi Goulder (eds.) The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy, London: Thoemmes Continuum, pp. 2997-9

2005a, 'Presentism', in Edward Craig (ed.), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online

2005b, 'British Philosophy Today', 'Chemistry, Philosophy of', 'Narrative', 'Overdetermination' and 'Underdetermination', in Ted Honderich, ed., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 2nd ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press

2002, 'Time', in Nicholas Bunnin and E.P. Tsui-James (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 2nd ed., Oxford: Blackwell, 2002, pp. 82-6

2000, 'The Perception of Time', in Edward Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2000,

1998a, 'Change', in Edward Craig (ed.), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, London: Routledge, 1998, pp. 274-6

1998b, 'Continuants', in ibid., pp. 652-4

Articles for general audience

2001a, 'Puzzles About Time', in Stuart McCready (ed.) The Discovery of Time, London: MQ Publications, pp. 227-43

2001b, 'Ancient and Medieval Views About Time', in Time: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Christ and the Cosmos Conference, Oxford: Christ and the Cosmos Initiative, pp.7-20

1999, 'Probability, Possible Worlds and Parallel Universes', Stoa, Vol. 1, 1999, pp. 79-96

1995, 'Autonomous Agents or God's Automata? Human Freedom from the Divine Perspective', Cogito, Vol. 9, pp. 35-41

1995, 'Time, Death and the Atheist', Cogito, Vol. 9, pp. 145-52

Review articles

1999, 'Recent Work on Time', Philosophical Books, Vol. 40, pp. 1-9

1997, 'Relative Realities', Essay Review of Mauro Dorato, Time and Reality: Spacetime Physics and the Objectivity of Temporal Becoming, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Vol. 28, 1997, pp. 541-6

1991, Critical Notice of J.R. Lucas, The Future, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 41, pp. 333-39



2009, Yuval Dolev, Time and Realism: metaphysical and antimetaphysical perspectives, Mind, Vol. 118, 1121-1124

2004, Barry Dainton, Time and Space, Philosophy, Vol. 79, pp 491-4

2003, William Lane Craig, Time and the Metaphysics of Relativity, Religious Studies, Vol. 39, pp. 363-6

2002a, E.J. Lowe, The Possibility of Metaphysics, International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 42, pp. 546-7

2002b, Roger Trigg, Rationality and Religion, Mind, Vol. 110, pp. 185-8

1999, David Cockburn, Other Times: Philosophical Perspectives on Past, Present and Future, Philosophical Investigations, Vol. 22, pp. 106-1

1998a, Larry Laudan, Beyond Positivism and Relativism: Theory, Method and Evidence, Philosophy, Vol. 73, pp. 36-9

1998b, Michael Tooley, Time, Tense, and Causation, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 49, 1998, pp. 365-9

1998c, Colin Crowder (ed.), God and Reality: Essays on Christian Non-Realism, Modern Believing, New Series, Vol. 39, pp. 38-41

1998d, J.J.C. Smart and J.J. Haldane, Atheism and Theism, European Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 6, pp. 99-103

1998e, Peter Forrest, God without the Supernatural: A Defense of Scientific Theism, Philosophical Books, Vol. 39, 1998, pp. 72-5

1997, Quentin Smith and L. Nathan Oaklander, Time, Change and Freedom, Philosophical Books, Vol. 38, 1997, pp. 77-9

1996a, L. Nathan Oaklander and Quentin Smith (eds.), The New Theory of Time, International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 36, pp. 111-12

1996b, Graham Nerlich, What Spacetime Explains and The Shape of Space (2nd Ed.), Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 46, 1996, pp. 127-31

1995a, Quentin Smith, Language and Time, Philosophical Review, Vol. 104, 1995, pp. 333-35

1995b, Ferrel Christensen, Space-Like Time, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 1995, pp. 80-1

1995c, Henry Plotkin, The Nature of Knowledge: Concerning Adaptations, Instincts and the Evolution of Intelligence, Reviews in Religion and Theology, pp. 46-9

1994, William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith, Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology, Religious Studies, Vol. 31, 1994, pp. 527-9

1993, Alan Padgett, God, Eternity and the Nature of Time, The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 44, 1993, pp. 803-7

1992, Nicholas Jardine, The Scenes of Inquiry: On the Reality of Questions in the Sciences, Philosophical Books, Vol. 33, 1992, pp. 189-91

1991a, David Farmer, Being in Time, Mind, Vo. 100, 1991, pp. 388-90

1991b, Michael Banner, The Justification of Science and the Rationality of Religious Belief, Philosophical Books, Vol. 32, 1991, pp. 126-7

1990, G. Gabbay and F. Guenthner (ed.), Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Vol. IV, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 40, 1990 pp. 395-7

1988, David Lewis, On The Plurality of Worlds, Cambridge Review, Vol. 109, 1988, pp. 34-5